List of cancer types

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The following is a list of cancer types. Cancer is a group of diseases that involve abnormal increases in the number of cells, with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body.[1] Not all tumors or lumps are cancerous; benign tumors are not classified as being cancer because they do not spread to other parts of the body.[1] There are over 100 different known cancers that affect humans.[1]

Cancers are often described by the body part that they originated in. However, some body parts contain multiple types of tissue, so for greater precision, cancers are additionally classified by the type of cell that the tumor cells originated from. These types include:

Cancers are usually named using -carcinoma, -sarcoma or -blastoma as a suffix, with the Latin or Greek word for the organ or tissue of origin as the root. For example, the most common cancer of the liver parenchyma ("hepato-" = liver), arising from malignant epithelial cells ("carcinoma"), would be called a hepatocarcinoma, while a malignancy arising from primitive liver precursor cells is called a hepatoblastoma. Similarly, a cancer arising from malignant fat cells would be termed a liposarcoma.

For some common cancers, the English organ name is used. For example, the most common type of breast cancer is called ductal carcinoma of the breast.

Benign tumors (which are not cancers) are usually named using -oma as a suffix with the organ name as the root. For example, a benign tumor of smooth muscle cells is called a leiomyoma (the common name of this frequently occurring benign tumor in the uterus is fibroid). Confusingly, some types of cancer use the -noma suffix, examples including melanoma and seminoma.[3][4]

Some types of cancer are named for the size and shape of the cells under a microscope, such as giant cell carcinoma, spindle cell carcinoma, and small-cell carcinoma.

Bone and muscle sarcoma

Brain and nervous system


Endocrine system



Genitourinary and gynecologic

Head and neck



Thoracic and respiratory

HIV/AIDS related

Other cancer types

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Defining Cancer". National Cancer Institute. 17 September 2007. Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  2. Varricchio, Claudette G. (2004). A cancer source book for nurses. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. p. 229. ISBN 0-7637-3276-1. Archived from the original on 2022-04-12. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  3. American Cancer Society. "Melanoma Skin Cancer". American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  4. American Cancer Society. "What is Testicular Cancer". American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society. Archived from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.

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